NEWS

In Brief

KIDNAPPING SUSPECTS

Police detain 4 for abduction of shipping tycoon in January Police said yesterday that they were questioning four suspects in connection with the abduction of elderly shipping magnate Pericles Panagopoulos who was kidnapped in January and released after his family paid a multi-million-euro ransom. Officers said that the suspects had been detained late on Thursday night on the basis of serious incriminating evidence. The suspects are believed to be involved in the Athens nightclub underworld. SWINE FLU US students test positive The number of people diagnosed with swine flu in Greece rose to 116 yesterday after five American students, out of a group of 32, tested positive for the H1N1 virus. The students, who had been visiting northern Greece, were said to have a mild strain of the virus. A further eight from the group were in hospital for tests while the remaining 19 were asked to remain at their hotel for the next few days. Religious dialogue Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios yesterday was expecting a visit at his official base in Istanbul's Phanar district from Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow, who was enthroned in February. According to sources, the outcome of the meeting is keenly awaited by senior clerics both in Moscow and at the Vatican. Kolonaki blasts A homemade explosive device made with gas canisters caused only limited damage when it detonated shortly after 3 p.m. yesterday outside the office of former Minister of Public Order Sifis Valyrakis in the upmarket central Athens district of Kolonaki. Earlier yesterday another arson attack in Kolonaki damaged the entrance to the premises of the Hellenic Migration Policy Institute (IMEPO). Unidentified vandals doused the entrance with a flammable liquid before setting it alight, according to police. Taken for ride Police in Athens yesterday detained a street kiosk owner alleged to have been reselling used bus tickets that had been made to appear new. Officers traced the kiosk owner after a commuter who had bought one of the suspect tickets was stopped by an inspector and explained where she had bought it. Cold turkey Guards at Crete's Nea Alikarnassos jail yesterday confiscated 13 small packages of heroin from a refrigerator in one of the prison's common areas. The drugs, weighing a total of 40 grams, had been concealed inside a packet of rolling tobacco which had been hidden inside a plastic bag full of food. Robbers 2 Banks 0 Two armed robbers held up a branch of the Agricultural Bank in Nea Halkidona, western Athens, shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday, netting an unspecified sum. The pair fled on a motorcycle which they abandoned a few blocks away from the bank and which was taken in by police to be examined. About half an hour later a lone gunmen broke into another branch of Agricultural Bank in the central district of Vyronas. He also fled with an unspecified sum.

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